The Hermes Driving School has been designed to improve driver engagement and performance in legal compliance, customer service and health and safety.

The last few weeks of the summer are always difficult for students of all ages. Whether you are at university, sixth form or school, you spend weeks waiting for your results and when judgement day finally arrives you are thrust into an immediate state of jubilation or disappointment.

This year, A-Level grades fell slightly with the pass rate dropping for the first time in over thirty years. Meanwhile, despite a fall in the number of C grades and above in English, GCSE results marginally increased this year.

The great Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. This quote is specifically inspirational to me when you consider my job focuses on training our drivers at Hermes.

Whilst I don’t promise that our training programme will help our staff to change the world, I do know that the investment we have made in our in-house driving school will change people’s lives for the better through career progression and the acquisition of new key skills.

Over recent years, The Hermes Driving School has formed a key part of the operations framework and has been designed to improve driver engagement and performance in areas including legal compliance, customer service and health and safety.

We have invested in Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) training, delivered across 27 sites, and consisting of two-core training types, practical in-vehicle and off-job classroom sessions, which has delivered exceptional results for the business.

As a result, all of our full time drivers are now CPC compliant, which means we have achieved our target well ahead of this month’s deadline. The Driving School also provides training to other transport companies and private individuals, which generates external revenue for the business.

Hermes continues to invest in the school, which delivered 1,369 days of training in 2013, up from 1,055 in 2012 and 845 days in 2011. The total for 2014 will again surpass last year’s figure. Hermes also invested significantly in ‘Quizdom’ technology to support interaction during off-job theory sessions and assist with evaluation of actual learning, and the feedback we have received from our staff has been extremely positive.

We also provide practical and theory training enabling drivers to reach the required standard to pass the LGV driving test (Category C). This in-house training solution enables Hermes to upgrade drivers’ licences to meet growing business needs. We are also pleased to say that the driver training has been cited as industry ‘Gold Standard’ by the Director of RoadSafe, who spearheads the ‘Driving for Better Business’ campaign on behalf of the Department for Transport.

In addition, the accomplishments of the Driving School were cited as one of the key reasons behind Hermes’ success at the Motor Transport Awards 2014, where the company won the Operational and Compliance Excellence Award.

The Driving School and the CPC training have laid the foundations for a number of our drivers to receive promotions, largely taking up supervisory or management roles across the business. Over the past 12 months alone, 14 drivers have been rewarded, which helps to support Hermes’ overall policy to promote from within.

We encourage internal progression and there will be a strong focus on succession planning/leadership development over the next three years as part of our Great Place to Work Campaign.

Opening your exams results is always a daunting prospect, and at the time the contents of that brown envelope is considered the be all and end all. However, I’ve always believed that the real opportunity presents itself when you find yourself in the workplace.

Hermes is proud to be making a difference towards the personal development of its hard-working and dedicated employees, which in turn helps the company to provide the highest quality delivery service to its retail clients.

  • Chris Grimshaw, Driving School manager, Hermes